Assessment of seafood contamination under the marine strategy framework directive: Contributions of the German environmental specimen bank
Descriptor 9 (D9) of the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive refers to the compliance of contaminant levels in fish and other seafood of a defined marine region or subregion with human health threshold values. This requires georeferenced samples that are often difficult to obtain when relying on commercial fisheries or programs designed for monitoring human exposure. The present study examines whether georeferenced samples of blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) and eelpout (Zoarces viviparus) fillet of the German environmental specimen bank (ESB) can be used in this context. The suitability of the ESB samples, procedures, and analytical methods is evaluated with respect to D9 requirements. Based on ESB data for the D9 relevant contaminants Pb, Cd, Hg, S4 PAHs, PCDD/Fs, dioxin-like (dl)-PCBs, and indicator non-dl-PCBs and the potentially relevant substances TBT, PFOS, PBDE, and HBCDD, the Good Environmental Status for D9 is assessed at the ESB sites in the North and Baltic Seas. The overall evaluation indicates that ESB samples are suitable for D9 assessment with the limitation that only coastal areas of the North and Baltic Seasare covered. Over a period of up to 30 years, concentrations of the D9 relevant contaminants were well below the maximum levels allowed for human consumption.